Saturday, August 11, 2007

A Lot of Heads ... A Lot of Asses ... And A Whole Boatload of Pulling

By J. Thomas Duffy

Geeish, where's the Freak Show been hiding this guy?

Does he have an eye patch, ala Ann Coultergist? ...Or is he just the passive butt-kisser, ala Little Billy Kristolnacht?

It looks like this weekend is shaping up to be a "Pulling-Your-Head-Out-Of-Your-Ass-Palooza"

Astonishingly, Philadelphia Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky put into print the ultimate (well, maybe No.2. - Attacking Iran is still pretty high up there) Neocon wet dream, in his missive on Thursday, "To save America, we need another 9/11"

My God, does he know what this does?

No doubt, the Vice President's chest started thumping like the Grambling State Marching Band ... Rick Santorum snapped on his beanie cap and dug out his "How To Find WMD's" kit ... Kate O’Beirne, the poor dear, got cramps, sitting in front of the mirror, practicing pursing her lips in disdain, in anticipation of being next week's pin-up girl on the cable news programs ... Bill O'Reilly... Well, Bill-O didn't quite know what to do with his loofah in the morning shower, he was so trembling with excitement ...

And, equally sublime, the Freak Show and Smear Machines rolled out the red carpet for good, ol' Stu.

The Sludge Report ... Fox Noise (a double hit - morning show and with the Big Head, John Gibson) ... Townhall ...

The gist of Stu's pornography is that the country is torn apart, not following in lockstep our The Commander Guy, and rallying rallying around his lying that led to the invasion and occupation of a sovereign nation.

We were there, right after September 11th, but "America likes wars shorter than the World Series."

And this;
America's fabric is pulling apart like a cheap sweater.

What would sew us back together?

Another 9/11 attack.

The Golden Gate Bridge. Mount Rushmore. Chicago's Wrigley Field. The Philadelphia subway system. The U.S. is a target-rich environment for al Qaeda.

So, rather than having an Executive Branch (both Bush's and Cheney's) that doesn't lie, obscure, hide and conduct the nation's affairs in secret, out CIA agents, smear and destroy critics, one that will uphold the law, respect the Constitution, not overrule legislation with Signing Statements, we should endure and suffer another horrible deadly attack in order to break out the jingoistic pom-poms again.

And to help Stu along, today's Que Sera Sera moment?
Good morning. In America, August is considered a slow news month. But in the war on terror, America and our allies remain on the offense against our enemies. And this month, we've had some encouraging news from both Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Commander Guys' Weekly Radio Address.

Too bad Stu didn't direct his outrage where the disaster he desires is already occurring ... The utter destruction of the U.S. Constitution ... There's a whole lot of carnage there that he can drool over ...

Bonus Links

Think Progress: Right-Wing Media Give Favorable Platform To ‘Another 9/11′ Columnist

Newshounds: Lunacy 101: Stu Bykofsky Suggests That Another 9-11 Attack Would Bring Us All Together!

Larisa Alexandrovna: Bush declarares Congress, courts, and, rule of law null and void...

Truthout: Executive Order: Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq

(Cross-posted at The Garlic.)

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Fighting September's PR Blitz

By Creature

Someone in the Bush administration's Iraq Guided Tour Department forgot to issue Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) her rose colored glasses. Schakowsky, just back from Iraq, said she believed, overall, that the "surge is a failure." This statement is in sharp contrast to the media meme building, predictably so, that the surge is a success. Schakowsky explains:

"I believe overall the surge is a failure. Why's that? Because the purpose was to reduce violence to create a safer environment, to create the space for political reconciliation. And Iraq is as far from that as it's ever been. … It’s clear to me we cannot win someone else’s religious civil war."

As General Petraeus gears-up the PR push for Bush's endless war, it's a 9-10 year timeline he's looking at, Schakowsky calls a spade a spade:

It concerns me that they’re building up enthusiastically in much the same way that we led up to the vote and then the war in October 2002 and then March of 2003. It does worry me that some the media is buying in. […]

What I feel is going on right now is that there’s a major PR effort going on to convince the Congress and the media and the public that just enough progress has been made to justify staying. A little more, and then maybe a little more, and a little more — perhaps to where Petraeus has said 9 or 10 years have elapsed. Calling for patience is not at this point going to work with the American people, and I’m hoping…are just too smart to be fooled again.

I will add that it's not the American people we need to worry about, their Bush blank check was cashed and bounced years ago, I worry about the Representatives' colleagues in Congress and the media. They are, after all, serious people, and seeing as how it was the serious people that got us into this Iraq mess, they are the last ones who will do anything to get us out.

(Cross-posted at State of the Day.)

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Move Over McCain, Rudy Says He Can Jump The Shark Better Than You!

By J. Thomas Duffy

This is going to be fun ...

Those GOP candidates, perhaps feeling inferior and insecure since the poll came out that indicated voters' first choice was "None of the above", are falling all over themselves.

We had Make-Up Mitt, this week, equate his sons working on his campaign as the same type of brave, unselfish service to the country as going off to war.

Pretty close to a shark jump, but, perhaps, more a foot-in-mouth gaffe along the lines of admitting you strapped your family dog to the car roof on a long road trip.

Back in April, perhaps the beginning of his campaign just starting to get drowsy, the suspended lull before the big nap, we had Senator John McCain's (R-AZ) shark-jumping moment, taking his Sunday stroll through a Baghdad market, declaring how safe and sane it was, but not really talking, and then making a fuss about it, as to his body armor and the gun-toting helicopter escort.

Now we have "America's Mayor" Rudy Giuliani slapping on the water skies and lining up that shark;

"I was at ground zero as often, if not more, than most of the workers. ... I was there working with them. I was exposed to exactly the same things they were exposed to. So in that sense, I'm one of them."

Rudy, Rudy, Rudy ...

You might have just come out and bellowed "I am the great and powerful Oz!"

Or, are we saving that, almost fated moment, for Fred Thompson?

Update/Bonus Links

Talking Points Memo: 'He had his own elevator'

Village Voice - Wayne Barrett: Rudy Giuliani's Five Big Lies About 9/11

"I am the great and powerful Rudy! ... America's Mayor! ... Mister 9-11!"

(Cross-posted at The Garlic.)

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Friday, August 10, 2007

On vacation, on the gentle island

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Hello, everyone. Prince Edward Island is, as always, beautiful, and it's been a wonderful couple of weeks here. I'll be back on Sunday and will resume blogging then.

In the meantime, a huge thank you to Creature for his magnificent editorial work during my absence, as well as to all the co-bloggers for contributing such great posts. Nothing unusual there, of course, but they filled in so well that it was a pleasure to leave the blog to them. I hope you all enjoyed the many posts they put up. If you missed anything, scroll down and have a look -- and a read.

Back soon.

-- Michael


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"Neither Congress nor the president has the power to repeal the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirements"

By Creature

Gitmo lawyers stand up for our rights so the Democrats in Congress don't have to. From ThinkProgress:

Yesterday, lawyers for Guantanamo Bay detainees asked a federal judge in San Francisco to invalidate the recently-passed FISA law that lets the Bush administration conduct warrantless surveillance on suspected terrorists without first getting court-approved warrants. [...]

Anthony Coppolino, a special counsel to the Justice Department, refused to rebut the challenge to the new law. Copppolino offered this defense: “It’s possible that their clients were and it’s possible that their clients were not” spied on.

The courts are the only check and balance the American people have left. Let's hope after six-plus years of Bush appointments there are a few honest judges left.

(Cross-posted at State of the Day.)

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Some women make their marks in the Middle East

By Carol Gee

Hostages, voters, bureaucrats, bloggers and members of parliament-

Lebanon -
(Haaretz image):

"Supporters of the Free Patriotic Movement, of Christian opposition leader Michel Aoun, waving outside a polling station near Beirut on Sunday."

Middle Eastern women are in the news recently. From voting in Lebanon and Jordan, to fighting to stay alive as Taliban hostages, women's stories are things we need to know about the situation in the region.

Women in opposition - headlined the story, "Tens of thousands of Lebanese vote in elections to replace two slain lawmakers" (8/5/07). To quote the story,

The election's results could determine the political future of this deeply divided country, weeks ahead of a scheduled vote by parliament to elect a new president.

. . . "They have been provoking us all day," said Bahiya Mizher, a Aoun supporter wearing an orange T-shirt and cap - the color of his Free Patriotic Movement. "But God is with us and we shall win, she said." Mizher, like many others, believes the election is about much more than just a seat. "The battle is between two diverging tracks ... what happens today will have major repercussions on the political future of the country," she said, sitting on the ground in Bikfaya outside a polling station.

While pro-government politicians accuse the opposition of being agents for Iran and Syria, Hezbollah leaders and Aoun accuse the ruling majority of subservience to the United States.

Jordan - Local elections were held in Jordan at the beginning of the month. Women candidates were given a quota of the total representation. Muslim Brotherhood candidates charged election fraud and pulled their candidates, even though some won. Aljazeera headlined the story, "Jordan Islamists win seats in polls." (8/2/07) To quote,

According to final results given by Zuheirat more than 1.1 million Jordanians out of 1.9 million who had registered cast their ballots to elect 965 council members and mayors from 2,686 candidates in 94 municipalities.

The vote was the first since a law was passed earlier this year granting women a 20 per cent quota - or 218 council seats - and reducing the voting age from 19 to 18 to expand the electoral base.

Zuheirat said that 20 women won council seats outside the quota and that only one woman out of six had won a race to be mayor.

Afghanistan - South Korean women are still being held hostage by the Taliban. Naturally both the president of Afghanistan and of the U.S. rule out any negotiating. But the Taliban offered to swap the South Korean women for Taliban women held by the Afghan government. From Aljazeera comes the headline: "Taliban offers female hostage swap" (8/7/07). Quoting from the story,

The Taliban has said it is prepared to swap women hostages among 21 South Koreans being held in Afghanistan for female prisoners linked to the group.

. . . A team of South Korean diplomats has been sent to Afghanistan to negotiate with the Taliban but a date and venue for talks are still to be arranged.

The Saudis (& Washington, D.C.) - Sameer Lalwani, guest posting for vacationing Steve Clemons at The Washington Note, titled his terrific analysis, "Beyond Arms Sales: Whither the US-Saudi Relationship?" One thing is new and very positive. The royal family is trying to integrate more women into its government. To quote a snippet of his much more extensive analysis of the current Saudi-U.S. situation (well worth the read),

Crown Prince Sultan announced that 1/3 of all government jobs would be filled by women. For a country that is often derided for its mistreatment of women, this is a significant departure, . .

Iran (& Washington D.C.) - It is truly a strange convergence. It seems that the governments of Iran and the United States are both dragging their feet when it comes to guaranteeing women's rights. It is not for the same reasons, of course. The BBC News headlined this ironic story, "Women's bill 'unites' Iran and US." (7/31/07) To quote the article.

So, how is it that these archrivals have a similar position, albeit for very different reasons, on a key women's rights convention? Iran and the US are two of only eight countries that have not joined the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (Cedaw). Supporters call Cedaw an international "bill of rights" for women.

. . . The Bush administration has been reviewing the treaty for a couple of years but it is not high on the treaty ratification priority list to be sent to the Senate.

. . . Neither is the Iranian government. In fact, several women's rights activists have received jail sentences and police have broken up their public gatherings in Tehran.

Iraq - Famous Iraqi woman blogger, "Riverbend's" last post at Baghdad Burning was April 26, 2007. "Miraj," of Baghdad Chronicle's, last post was January 29, 2007. A young woman "hnk," posted on March 3 (with pictures), stopped and started again yesterday. "Mama" writes Emotions from Mosul, last posting June 19. "still alive" last posted at My letters to America on June 29, 2007. She started How to Deserve it? on April 22, 2006 with this:

When you have a reason to be happy, you are not happy, true
happiness needs no reason.

"Still alive" last posted to the site - in Arabic - on July 15, 2007. Her post title is "Mother."

Resources: Many thanks to "Heart" for the post on Iraqi women bloggers last year with a few of the above links. For links to many more blogs (both genders) from Iraq visit IraqBlogCount. The webmaster is an Iraqi living in the U.K.

(Cross-posted at South by Southwest.)

My “creativity and dreaming” post at Good Second Mondays is about the imagery associated with the American flag.

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Thursday, August 09, 2007


O dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon, Irrecoverably dark! total eclipse, Without all hope of day.
-John Milton, Sampson Agonistes-

The worst of the worst, scum de la scum; they're bad, evil, terrible people we are holding in Guantánamo, or so we have been told all along. Don't feel bad for the men in cages, we're only torturing them a little bit and after all, if someone has information about a terrible terrorist plot, wouldn't you torture them to find out?

Try to reconcile that official rationale for dehumanizing a group of people picked up or kidnapped under widely varying circumstances from many different places and sometimes only because somebody accused them, or they had a name similar to somebody who might have known somebody; try to reconcile it with the steady trickle of prisoners who after 5 years of duress and investigation have been released as not being dangerous or knowing nothing and being not guilty of doing anything.

Isa Murbati, a 41-year-old father of five who had been a Guantánamo prisoner for more than five years without having been charged with anything, arrived in Bahrain last night. Oops, never mind. He's the sixth and last Bahraini to be released and all the men had been in coveralls and cages since 2002. At lease one had attempted suicide repeatedly. If it had not been for the persistent efforts of the government of Bahrain and King Hamad Bin Isa al Khalifa, whose kingdom is considered to be "pro-American" and allows the US to base the Fifth Fleet there, who knows what would have happened to these wretches? Many other prisoners have no place to go because no country will take them. No money, no clothes, no country and most assuredly nearly or fully demented from half a decade of no sleep and waterboarding. The worst of the worst.

The government of Bahrain will seek compensation and perhaps they will succeed. After all they do have leverage, but paying damages would be an admission of having done something wrong and admissions of wrong doing do not escape the iron curtain around the White House any more easily that light will exit any other black hole. I'm sure something will be worked out to save the smiling face of our delusional dictator, but what amount of money can restore a ruined life, a ruined mind?

As far as anyone knows, the amount of valuable information extracted from the torture rooms is about nil. Of course the black hole doesn't emit much light and what it does emit tends to be disinformation or denial, but what can a man who has been in a dog cage for 5 years tell us about? Not much about Osama perhaps, but he can tell us a lot about the United States of America.

Nothing short of impeachment can restore our ruined reputation and bring back the light to the dark and secret nightmare cellars of our nation.

(Cross-posted at Human Voices.)

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Mission Accomplished

By Creature

"This is an impressive crowd: the Have's and Have-more's. Some people call you the elites. I call you my base." - George W. Bush

Bush wants to give his "have-more" base, well, more:

President Bush said yesterday that he is considering a fresh plan to cut tax rates for U.S. corporations to make them more competitive around the world, an initiative that could further inflame a battle with the Democratic Congress over spending and taxes and help define the remainder of his tenure.

Tax cuts and a chance to hang the Democrats with a tax-and-spend noose, sounds like a trap this Congress will trip over themselves to fall into.

(Cross-posted at State of the Day.)

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"What If Spartacus Had To Account For 190,000 AK-47 assault rifles and pistols ..."

By J. Thomas Duffy

Maybe the Golden Boy's golden dog ate the paperwork ...

A story, reported on Monday, indicated that 30% of weapons ( out of 190,000 AK-47 assault rifles and pistols) that were issued to Iraqi Security Forces can't be accounted for, and likely are in the hands of insurgents currently battling and attacking U.S. Forces.

Also included in this incredible loss, was 125,000 pieces of body armor and 115,000 helmets.

And when did this happen?

"But the GAO said weapons distribution was haphazard and rushed and failed to follow established procedures, particularly from 2004 to 2005, when security training was led by Gen. David H. Petraeus, who now commands all U.S. forces in Iraq."

Bush's Golden Boy ... His September Song ...

So, how does the Bush Grindhouse blow this one off and sweep it under the rug?

Send the Golden Boy to Fox News, in this case, the "Alan Colmes Show" on Fox News Radio

And the Spartacus-like answer?

"We occasionally likened it to building the world's largest aircraft while in flight and while being shot at," the general said. "But we gradually started putting those procedures into place."

And then later in the Post article;

"That type of decision was something that we made at the time because those forces needed those weapons and that equipment," Petraeus told Colmes. "We weren't going to stay there in the dark and make guys do a serial-number inventory and sign them up, and that is what happened. We believe those weapons all certainly were given to Iraqi units."

Newshounds offers a more classic, Pentagon-bureaucratic response, from the Colmes interview;

Colmes: Are you saying you have a sense of where those 190,000 weapons are? Or is there a good chance that some of them fell into the hands of the insurgency? And how do you prevent this from happening again?

Petraeus: Well, we did in fact take measures, Alan... (We) created first our own logistical structures... we gradually started putting those procedures into place, got them really established, I'd say, in the summer of 2005 and then built from there...Over time those procedures were put in place and I think the GAO acknowledges that and notes that fact."

Colmes: How many of those weapons do you think could be in the hands of our enemies?

Petraeus: I don't know.

Boy, the Bush Grindhouse is really making it's Golden Boy work for his supper.

It wasn't that long ago, that this 30% loss of weapons, likely being used against us now, would have gotten a cold, snorted huff of "stuff happens" from Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld.

So, I guess things in Iraq are improving.

"What if Spartacus had a The Commander Guy like Bush ... "

(Cross-posted at The Garlic.)

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Quick Post McGraw: Foreign Policy Circle Jerk Edition

By Creature

Deeply Unserious

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Dems get mixed reviews

By Carol Gee

Last night's Democratic debate at Soldier's Field in Chicago was rather enjoyable, even exciting at times. The candidates did well, for the most part, and differentiated themselves along the way. MSNBC's Keith Olbermann did a fine job of moderating. It didn't take him long to understand where he was losing: the good crowd refused to hold its applause as he had instructed. It was great fun to see a bunch of rule-breaking Union members together and acting up.

The main point is - And this is not saying anything new, any one of the Democratic candidates would be infinitely better as President, than OCP (our current president). It is the Democrats' race to lose in 2008. We could have a worse problem than this in our crowded field.

But I am still bent out of shape about the diminution of our civil liberties protections under an amended new law sanctioned by Democrats feeling in a bind and trusting DNI Admiral Mike McConnell. The dilemma for congressional Democrats last week must have felt like an awful one for them, though I think not enough to capitulate in such numbers. Too many good folks flunked the constitutional test, according to aghast Dahlia Lithwick at Slate Magazine, who headlined her piece: "In Gonzo We Trust - They want to fire Alberto Gonzales and give him new eavesdropping powers?" To quote,

There is virtually no way to reconcile Sen. Mark Pryor's, D-Ark., claim that Gonzales has "lied to the Senate" and needs to go with his vote to expand the reach of our warrantless eavesdropping program. And how can one possibly square Sen. Dianne Feinstein's, D-Calif., claim that the AG "just doesn't tell the truth" with her vote to give him yet more unchecked authority? You either trust this AG with the power to listen in on your phone calls or you do not, and the mumbled justifications for these "yes" votes ( … but Gonzales shares his authority with National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell; … but the bill sunsets in six months) do nothing to lessen the impression that some Democrats mistrust Gonzales when it's convenient, but not when it's truly important.

I agree! (See also my post of yesterday). As I told one of my S/SW commenters, I want to forgive them but I am not there yet. I will eventually get there because I am forgiving by nature. But not be for a while, because I feel so justified in the merits of my case.

This is no small thing. The outcry has been widespread, but not universal in the MSM. Walter Pincus today at the Washington Post was very careful not to raise red flags with his readers, though the headline was less careful: "Same Agencies to Run, Oversee Surveillance Program." I guess it is early in the game for this well respected reporter. Even the mainstream media's USA Today is in agreement that Congress was wrong to go along with the outrageous power grab of OCP. Yesterday's Op Ed headline was amazing: "Wartime power grabs require beautiful sunsets." To quote the opinion piece,

If there is any redeeming feature of the excessively invasive eavesdropping law that Congress passed last week and President Bush signed Sunday, it is a "sunset" provision that makes all the bill's controversial provisions expire, unless Congress and the president agree to renew them.

. . . It's dangerous to give any administration permanent powers to fight a temporary war, even one that could last as long as the one against Islamic extremism. It's just as dangerous to trust an administration to police itself without court supervision.

A skittish Congress allowed itself to be stampeded last week into granting the president unfettered surveillance power. When it returns to Washington, it should do what it can to make sure that the sun goes down on this flawed measure.

The abridgement of U.S civil liberties is a serious and on-going problem. It is not enough that it will be "sunset-ed" (maybe) in six months. It serious enough in my mind that I will regularly visit the issue until it is fixed. As if I could have anything to do with it! But united activists could.

(Cross-posted at South by Southwest.)

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A quote for the Stickings

By Creature

TPM's Election Central:

Obama may have undercut his foreign policy image early on [during last night's Dem debate], referring to the "President of Canada." Canada does not have a president — and when Joe Biden spoke next, he seemed to take some pleasure in enunciating the words "the Prime Minister of Canada."

If Michael weren't on vacation I'm sure he'd have something to say. In his absence, I'll blame Obama's misstep on Canada. It's not his fault Canada doesn't have a president.

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Top Ten Cloves: How Barry Bonds Celebrated Breaking Hank Aaron's Homerun Record Last Night

By J. Thomas Duffy

News Item: Bonds Sets Baseball's Home Run Record; Giants Slugger Passes Aaron With No. 756

10. Delay in ceremony, as crowd had to wait for Bonds to take other steroids that would make him happy

9. Flexing his muscles for the news media registered on local San Francisco seismographs

8. Blew out the 756 candles on the giant cake with the slightest, softest little puff

7. Team announced, in honor of the accomplishment, changing name to San Francisco Barry Bonds

6. Instead of teammates carrying him on shoulders, Bonds carried teammates on his

5. Jumbo screen congratulations video from Hank Aaron caused crowd to gasp - Bonds' head was bigger

4. Feat brought Bonds to tears; Grounds crew had to scurry out to place tarp on field, causing 30-minute delay

3. Instead of his family or teammates, Bonds lifted and hugged AT&T Park

2. With his incredible strength, jumped from 1st base into McCovey Cove

1. Announced, with new, and future Human Growth Hormones, promises to hit another 756 homeruns

Bonus Links

Breaking News! ... Baseball Bombshell Expands Steroid Scandal; Giants’ Bonds Tests Positive For Landis Testosterone; Cyclist Said To Be Kingpin Of Lucrative Doping Ring, Selling His Own DNA

Politics and Sports Collide; Paperwork Mix-Up Has Feingold Censuring Bonds and MLB Investigating Bush

Second Palmeiro Bombshell: Tests Positive For Cialis

(Cross-posted at The Garlic.)

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If it's a day ending in "y", it's another Democratic debate

By Creature

Last night the Democratic hopefuls for the '08 nomination gathered in Chicago. Keith Olberman was the host--a good thing, the crowd was noisy--also a good thing, and the candidates were still politicians--a bad thing. All I could think as I watched them spin was that I have a serious case of Democrat fatigue after last weekend's FISA capitulation to the 28% president and I was not in the mood to hear from anyone with a "D" after their name.

However, there were two moments in the debate worth highlighting.

First, after taking some heat for his willingness to destabilize Pakistan and provoke a nuclear war with an ally--yes, I am exaggerating, Obama answered the charge of "irresponsible" as if he'd been reading Atrios for years:

"Well, look, I find it amusing that those who helped to authorize and engineer the biggest foreign policy disaster in our generation are now criticizing me for making sure that we are on the right battlefield and not the wrong battlefield in the war against terrorism,"

Well said by Obama, and exactly the rhetorical tone I am looking for.

Next, Hillary, William Kristol's new girlfriend, had her been-there-done-that line ready and waiting for those attacking her:

"For 15 years, I have stood up against the right-wing machine and I’ve come out stronger, so if you want a winner who knows how to take them on, I’m your girl."

This was also a good line because this is a Hillary strength. The Democrats can't risk another Kerry campaign where swiftboat flip-flopping charges go unanswered until after the ballots have been cast.

For deeper debate dissection I send you over to Joe Gandelman at The Moderate Voice and Steve Benen at The Carpetbagger Report.

(Cross-posted at State of the Day.)

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Goodbye Bat Boy! ... Rumors True, World Weekly News Shutting Down!

By J. Thomas Duffy

Those wonderful, delicious, screaming headlines ...

If this weekend's FISA Vote didn't take the wind out of your sails, the news today (and there's been various rumors/sightings on-line in the past few weeks) that the tabloid World Weekly News is shutting down.

What will happen to Bat Boy? ... Will Elvis slink away into the obscurity of Michigan? ... Who will report about the Space Aliens and Big Foot? ... Where's Ed Anger going to vent? ...

Peter Carlson in today's Washington Post has a great article on the hilarity the WWN has provided it's faithful readers for nearly the past 30-years;

All the News That Seemed Unfit to Print

You can visit the World Weekly News on-line here

Vote For What Should Be The World Weekly News' Final Screaming Headline

(Cross-posted at
The Garlic.)

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A F.I.S.A. Primer

By Carol Gee

The new FISA - The current FISA bill's Orwellian title is "Improving Foreign Intelligence Surveillance to Defend the Nation and the Constitution Act of 2007." The text of the new FISA legislation itself is available from the Talking Points Memo Document Collection.

The "caving senators" - "Julie" writes a community blog at The Democratic Party. Here is (my abbreviated) list of the 16 Democratic senators voting for the new FISA bill, according to Julie. She included some rather inflammatory Wikipedia biographical information, so take that part with a grain of salt.
Julie's "Roll of Shame:"

Bob Casey, Jr. (D-PA); Evan Bayh (D-IN); Thomas Carper (D-DE); Kent Conrad (D-ND); Dianne Feinstein (D-CA); Daniel Inouye (D-HI); Amy Klobuchar (D-MN); Mary Landrieu (D-LA); Blanche Lincoln (D-AR); Claire McCaskill (D-MO); Bill Nelson (D-FL); Ben Nelson (D-NE); Mark Pryor (D-AR); Ken Salazar (D-CO); Jim Web (D-VA).

The trembling Representatives - Speeple News has the list of 41 House Democrats who "trembled before the mighty Bush." This post is also an excellent analysis of the bill that is now the law of the land. To quote the intro:

Of the 41 House Democrats who voted today to roll over on the eavesdropping amendment that the White House demanded be added to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, 26 30 were Blue Dogs. The bill, Orwellianly named the Protect America Act, passed 227-183, with 181 Democrats and two Republicans opposed.

These are the Dems who ... failed us. Who failed our country.

The References:

  1. Reference links page: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
  2. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 - Wikipedia
  3. Thanks to Dan Fejes for leads on this story.

(Cross-posted at South by Southwest.)

My “creativity and dreaming” post today at Good Second Mondays is a new poem about broken boundaries called "Fence Mending."

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The ministry of Logic

By Capt. Fogg

And snarling Dick Cheney continues to channel Joseph Goebbels; furnishing a gathering of Marines with enough bullshit, steaming, bubbling and reeking, to fertilize all the poppy fields in Afghanistan forever.

We're fighting al Qaeda in Iraq, not local insurgents, not the Iranian trained operatives we were blaming last week, not the sectarian militias who are united only in their desire to have us long gone. We're facing an organized army led from a central headquarters, and we have to fight them in Iraq because they're fighting us in Iraq. Never mind that it isn't true that Iraq wants us there. Never mind that it doesn't make sense to fight "them" in Iraq, if the leaders are in Afghanistan. Never mind that there would be no al Qaeda in Iraq, if indeed there really are more than a few, if we hadn't invaded and allowed the complete collapse of law and order because of an arrogant preference for political theory over sound military advice.

"If you support the war on terror, then you ought to support it where the terrorists are fighting us,"

Or in other words, if you support A then you should support B where B is even though the relationship between A and B cannot be shown. These arguments should be preserved in logic textbooks for students to study forever. One hopes that the marines forced to listen to this infantile babble have had enough training to wonder why, if we're not fighting Iraqis in the streets of Iraq, we would have to concentrate on foot soldiers and ignore the possibility of going after the alleged leaders in their headquarters; have enough military know-how to ask why we have to let "the enemy" choose the battleground. But I can only hope they are tired enough of the slaughter, the flag waving, the lying and the dying to see through it all.

(Cross-posted at Human Voices.)

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The lid comes off

By Creature

WaPo: As British Leave, Basra Deteriorates

In the up is down, right is wrong, unreality the Bush administration and their enablers inhabit the Washington Post article linked to above will undoubtedly be used as clear and convincing evidence that the Iraq war escalation must continue. If we leave, Baghdad will be Basra.

While it is probably true, it's still no reason to stay.

If anything the article is a wake-up call to get out, and get now, while the military still has a say in what an American withdrawal will look like. As Taylor Marsh says: "No matter what we do or when we do it, the Iraqis have plans of their own on what will happen once we're gone."

This dirty fuckin' hippie says, let them get on with their plans. It will be ugly, but it is also inevitable.

(Cross-posted at State of the Day.)


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Monday, August 06, 2007

Damned if you do, damned if you don't

By Creature

Today the Washington Post editorial page slams the "Democratic led Congress" for being "more concerned with protecting its political backside than with safeguarding the privacy of American citizens [...]." A sentiment I agree with, however it's also a sentiment I do not want to hear from the Washington Post's editorial page. A page that has "enabled" all things Bush for the last six plus years.

Even beyond my disgust for the WaPo and their kettle-black editorial page, what's more maddening is that you can be sure that if the Democrats had not passed a revamped surveillance law they would have slammed the Dems for leaving the nation's flank exposed to another terrorist attack.

It's a lesson the Democrats never seem to learn. Follow Bush, don't follow Bush, either way you will be slammed. You're either weak on terror, or just weak, so why not stand on principle and stand up to a 28% president.

(Cross-posted at State of the Day.)

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Romney Aide Instrumental In Exposing Fake Steve Jobs

Stalked Internet Cafes, Wearing Black Turtlenecks, Even Passing Himself Off As The FSJ

By J. Thomas Duffy

Sources have told The Garlic today that Jay Garrity, the disgraced former director of operations of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, was "extremely instrumental" in exposing the hi-tech world's most burning secret - who is the Fake Steve Jobs.

New York Times reporter Brad Stone writes in today's edition that Daniel Lyons, a senior editor at Forbes magazine, is the person behind the hilarious and biting satire blog that has rocked Silicon Valley for more than the past year.

A bevy of news publications, magazines and everybody and their cousin were attempting to guess, and out, the Fake Steve Jobs over the past year.

"Garrity really broke this thing wide open," said Harry Connell, Managing Editor of "iSqueal Monthly", a magazine that gives tips to Apple users in navigating the company's iSqueal Hotline, and publishing the best of the iSqueal recordings.

Employing his skills at impersonating police officers, Garrity attempted to find "Steve Jobs", in a misguided effort that would enhance the Romney campaign.

Believing that Jobs, and Apple, had recently purchased YouTube (it was Google that made the deal), Garrity planned to intimidate "Steve Jobs", using his phony badge and other fake police paraphernalia into promoting and highlighting Romney on YouTube.

Romney, recently on the campaign trail, confused YouTube with MySpace.

Garrity, in his pursuit of "Steve Jobs", went to great lengths, flying back-and-forth between the two coasts, and stalking internet cafes, often donning a black turtleneck jersey, and passing himself off at time as the "Fake Steve Jobs", in an effort to dig up new leads.

It's not clear the connection between Garrity and Stone, but Connell believes that it may be that Garrity, when he was with the Romney campaign, donning sunglasses and ear piece, flashing his fake badge, pulled Stone over in one of his phony security warnings to reporters getting too close to Romney.

"He helped sniff this thing out," said Connell.

Neither Stone or Lyons would confirm or deny any contact with Garrity, and Garrity could not be reached for comment.

Unconfirmed rumors, according to Connell, say that Garrity is now passing himself off as "FBI", and is in the process of launching a blog, "Fake Robert Mueller".

"There's been a spike of calls to iSqueal," offered Connell. "People that have come in contact with Garrity, they're not sure, if it is Steve Jobs, or the Fake Steve Jobs who is presenting himself as FBI."

Bonus Link

The Trial of Fake Steve Jobs

Is it Steve Jobs, Daniel Lyons, or, former Romney Aide Jay Garrity?

(Cross-posted at The Garlic.)

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

A Sad Day for the Bill of Rights

By Carol Gee

(Image - "Bill of Rights": National Archives and Records Administration)

The Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution is a very old and faded document. Today it is even more faded due to what Congress did to the Bill of Rights (NYT) before going out for its August recess. The public has every right to react negatively.

We are able to ask what happened because of the *First Amendment. It guarantees free speech and a free press, as well as free assembly to ask the government for redress of grievances. We are aggrieved because of the Bush administration and Congress' most recent assault on the **Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Fourth Amendment guarantees our rights to have lawful and reasonable search and seizure with a court issued warrant.

Sunday will not be a day of rest for some of us in the blogosphere. We will be reacting ourselves at The Reaction (below) - and looking closely at the public's reaction - to Senate and House passage of something called the "Improving Foreign Intelligence Surveillence To Defend The Nation and Consitution Act of 2007." One of my favorite bloggers, "MeteorBlades" at DailyKos titled a post, "Enough Already with the Pathetic Excuses," that captures some of my own anger. To quote the opening,

I know what a lot of you 57 Democratic Representatives and Senators are going to be saying over the next month while you’re speaking on the home turf. You did it to protect Americans. You didn’t want to take a chance. You had to stand up to the terrorists. You really had no choice.

If anybody asks why in hell you chose to legalize what the Cheney-Bush team has been doing illegally since 2001, you’re going to tell us you did it for our own good. You amended the 29-year-old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act – originally passed to put some modest restrictions on agencies whose outrageous and frequently illegal behavior had been exposed by journalists and the Church Committee – to make us safe. You’re going to tell us you’ve got our backs.

You’re going to claim we can depend on you to be tough against terrorists even though you just put your foreheads to the floor at the feet of the most loathsome duo ever to sink their talons into the office of the Presidency. You’re going to tell us you couldn’t stand up to the blackmail, although that's not what you'll call it. You’re going to say Democrats can’t afford to appear weak.

More on FISA from the blogosphere - Even though I may be in the spiritual doldrums, my curiosity led me to check around. A couple of my blog favorites, Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake, and Faiz at ThinkProgress also wrote great posts in the same vein. Ironically the occasion of the YearlyKos meeting seemed to occupy Jay Rosen, Juan Cole, Josh Marshall (interviewing Steve Clemons), and Barbara of The Mahablog.

It will not be sad forever - Neither psychological angst, personal challenges, summer doldrums, cynicism, nor burn-out will deter alert bloggers from sustained committment to this issue. Stay tuned for more.


  • The U.S. Constitution online.
  • The Bill of Rights - The First Twelve Articles of Amendment.
  • *Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  • **Amendment 4 - Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791.

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

(Cross-posted at South by Southwest.)

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The Night of the Jackal ... And A New Garlic Song - The Congress Sleeps Tonight

By J. Thomas Duffy

"The President wants a blank check. The Congress is not going to give it to him."

There's a scene in the taut, classic thriller 'Day of the Jackal' (and please, don't even think of bringing up the piece of crap with Bruce Willis and Richard Gere), where Inspector Lebel (played superbly by Michael Lonsdale) addresses the secret task force in charge of stopping the Jackal (Edward Fox) from assassinating Charles De Gaulle, and roots out a leaker.

After the astonished members settle down a minister asks "How did you know whose telephone to tap?" and Lebel responds, dryly and succinctly "I didn't, so I tapped them all."

So we now have the Bush Grindhouse, free to do as they please - once again, browbeating the Democrats into another losing vote - and, let's not forget, they have the extra billy club of that nifty Executive Order The Commander Guy gave himself last week.

So aside from some free passes to Wally World, as they jump in their station wagons for a month's vacation (and with the Iraqi Parliament cooling their heels in August, did Congress, or the President give our soldiers the time off over in Iraq?), what more can we do for our shrinking, emasculated Congress?

Why, a Garlic Song certainly would be welcomed, to serenade those they chose not to fight, not to serve, not assist the American people against this egregious attack from this person that occupies the great office of the President of the United States.

You know the tune, so sing along.

The Congress Sleeps Tonight

A-We-Some-Wimps, A-We-Some-Wimps, A-We-Some-Wimps, A-We-Some-Wimps,
A-We-Some-Wimps, A-We-Some-Wimps, A-We-Some-Wimps, A-We-Some-Wimps,

In the Capitol, the mighty Capitol
The Congress sleeps tonight
In the Senate the quivering Senate
Bush Gets His Way, Alright

Near the White House, the Unitarian White House
The Congress sleeps tonight
Near the White House, the law-breaking White House
They gave away our rights

Blush my darling and fear my darling
The Congress sleeps tonight
Don't rush my darling your acquiescing my darling
The Congress sleeps, with no oversight, tonight

A-We-Some-Wimps, A-We-Some-Wimps, A-We-Some-Wimps, A-We-Some-Wimps,
A-We-Some-Wimps, A-We-Some-Wimps, A-We-Some-Wimps, A-We-Some-Wimps,

Bonus Links

Glenn Greenwald: Democrats' responsibility for Bush radicalism

Edward Copeland: Even the rulings against it are done in secret

Robert Parry: Bush's Secret Spying on Americans

Daily Kos: Senate Gives in on Wiretapping. 16 Dems Go Along

Sleep well, my darlings ...

(Cross-posted at The Garlic.)

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Truth in Comics

By Creature

If it's Sunday, it's another fuckin' day that the Democrats caved to a 28% president, I'm this close to just giving up on this whole Democracy thing, this close, it's Truth in Comics.

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